Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bobble head

I've been sitting on this for 2-3 weeks now. It started out as an excercise where I don't think ahead and I just draw, but as usual I started overthinking, and ended up experimenting with textures using soft pastels and a brush...And that's where I got stuck because afterwards, it was as if I woke up from a trance and said, "Oh, where was I going with this?" I'm sure you know the feeling :)

Close-up so you can see the brushwork.

I'm not feeling the blue on our right side of her face, but now that I'm looking at a picture of my drawing (and it doesn't look too bad), I have some ideas about where to go.


Isaac Marzioli - Freelance Illustrator said...

I like it! I love the style of the face and character you're making. It's definitely a great start.

I think the blue will only stand out if you don't have blue elsewhere in the piece. I would suggest putting some of the red/orange over it (because it's shadow, right?) so as to dim the start contrast of the blue. But again, it depends on what you do with the rest of the thing.

Is the bg color going to be orange?

Also - be careful with the highlights and shape of the hair - you don't want it to end up looking like a pumpkin. I'm sure with the crown and when everything else is in place, it'll be fine...but I only bring it up so you can be aware.

Anyway - I love the face so far! the blue in the arch of the brow right over the eye is done well, and if you add a little bit (not too much!) of red/orange to that (and the other blue) it'll really make the shadows pop.

Patti said...

Looks great. Love the color.

pete said...

very nice brushwork! the close-up is really, really awesome. i love the simple treatment of the eyes and face.

that blue is very strong. i like how it plays on the left side of the face, but i think it may be too much on the right. but, hey, its an exercise so i say go for anything that floats your boat! the only rule is that there are no rules. :)

i like how her red hair stands against the orange background. its really something that you've managed to define the edges like that.

pete said...

by the way, with your extensive photography background...i'd really enjoy hearing your thoughts on taking pictures of artwork.

i have a digital SLR (Canon) and typically just wait for a cloudy day to shoot. can you recommend any good books on the subject?


kris fulk said...

Isaac - thanks, you had me reevaluating what I was going to do about the hair. Totally didn't see the pumpkin shape, even if it was so completely obvious!

Patti - thanks, Patti!

Pete - Yeah that blue is something alright. At first I really liked how it was so contrasty, but then I got stumped. I think I just got carried away a little, because I apparently need rules. The more I try to let go, the less I get accomplished. If that makes sense. I spend 90% staring at it and not picking up the pastel.

Also, you're doing the right thing by using a cloudy day and natural light when you photograph. I don't think you're shooting through a glass frame or anything, so it should be fairly easy. Aside from making sure you're parallel to your painting by hanging it on the wall or something, there are a couple of tips I would suggest. First, having the right color is important, so a white balance tool will help you: something really simple like this

And depending on what focal length you're using, I would avoid lens distortion. For example, if you're using a wide angle lens, getting really close to the painting and letting it fill your viewfinder will more than likely produce some distortion on the edges. If this happens, just shoot wider and crop your image.

You want to use iso 100 when possible to avoid noise when you print big, and use a tripod if you can if that will help you get iso 100. Sometimes you have to drag the shutter (use a low shutter speed), to get the proper exposure, but that's ok since you have a tripod and won't have to worry about camera shake. Low iso in general are best. Depending on your camera, you can get away with really clean files even at iso 400 or 800. You just have to watch your histogram. The closer the curve is to the left side (shadows) the more you've got to worry about noise if you have to lighten the exposure when you edit the photo.

Smaller apertures (higher f stop numbers for those who are not familiar with the term) will get you sharper details edge to edge.

What camera + lens combo do you use?

I don't really know about books specifically for photographing art, but I'm sure there are articles on it online. I'll post more if I think about more tips.

Christy/Tiddly Inks Digitals said...

I like this Kris...looks great and I think you will probably tone down the blue or add more depending on how you want to treat it....looks fantastic so far. I like the character a lot. :)

Carmen Medlin said...

This is a great style you have going here Kris! I would never have thought of putting in such contrasting colors, and it works. I think the heavier blue on the one side of her face would actually look just fine if the stronger stroke lines were blended out or at least softened. The color itself doesn't look bad to me at all.
If you did go with a pumpkin theme, she could be like a pumpkin fairy godmother ;) -- I like the hair personally. But if you don't want it to turn into a pumpkin, maybe some little curls by her ears or something would soften it up.
I'll bet this piece will really turn out quite interesting!